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Is the use of the word "Gay" as a synonym for "Stupid"/"Lacklustre"/"Poor"/etc. acceptable?

 
 
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Dec, 2010 03:42 am
@iamsam82,
I would like to see different marriage status. One where a heterosexual couple plan to have children. This would be harder to get a divorce in, esp if they have children. I would like to see another type of marriage between de factos, homosexuals and heterosexuals who dont want children and divorce should be easier to attain.
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Dec, 2010 03:43 am
@Francis,
God, Francis, we have got to get you a logic course.
Francis
 
  3  
Reply Fri 3 Dec, 2010 03:47 am
@Ionus,
God has nothing to do with this..

Why gays should not be able to adopt procedes from the same logic as why women do not write good poetry: a heavily prejudiced mind..
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Dec, 2010 04:00 am
@Francis,
Here is my adoption order :
heterosexual couples of good standing
heterosexual singles of good standing
homosexual couples of good standing
homosexual singles of good standing
Now lets hear what you have to say as to why that is prejudiced.

Are you sure you dont have a heavily prejudiced mind in favour of homosexuality ?
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Dec, 2010 04:02 am
@Francis,
Quote:
women do not write good poetry
Are you sure they dont write good poetry ? That has never occurred to me.
Francis
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Dec, 2010 04:08 am
@Ionus,
You may have been reading something else than my posts or attributing to my posts a meaning they do not have.

As a matter of fact, I am in favor of loving heterosexual relationships, married or not.
But if other people want a homosexual relationship, who am I to disagree?

If a classification were to be made, I would adopt yours...
0 Replies
 
Francis
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Dec, 2010 04:10 am
@Ionus,
Ionus wrote:

Quote:
women do not write good poetry
Are you sure they dont write good poetry ? That has never occurred to me.

See? You are not reading it correctly.

I proved wrong the poster who said that..
0 Replies
 
Golden Rule
 
  2  
Reply Fri 3 Dec, 2010 09:11 am
@iamsam82,
As a teacher, I feel you should follow the policies that are a condition of your employment regardless of your political, religious or personal views.

As for your personal choice to use the word in that way, I can only say "be prepared for the consequences".

I, personally, would find someone who does so unappealing in the least and would lose respect for them immediately. I find it tacky.
iamsam82
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Dec, 2010 09:48 am
@Golden Rule,
Again, I don't choose to use the term myself (although I would deem it no more offensive than "lame", it's true).

I just wonder if I'm meant to stop every kid I hear using it a day and tell them not to in case a homosexual should hear it. Every day more kids are using the word, and even the OED has documented its changing definition.

I don't understand why we should fight the hopeless fight of protecting its old definition of homosexual. It doesn't mean that any more than it means bright and cheerful these days.
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Mon 6 Dec, 2010 10:38 am
@iamsam82,
iamsam82 wrote:
It doesn't mean that any more than it means bright and cheerful these days.


Yes, it does. You are letting your laziness overcome your good sense. And in the name of what?

Didja try out the phrase for size with your gay friends yet? Still waiting to see how that one turns out for ya.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
spidergal
 
  3  
Reply Mon 6 Dec, 2010 11:15 am
I've recently thought about this very thing.

I hear the world 'gay' being used to mean stupid, etc., all the time, and I've recently felt very violated by this trend - even though I'm straight myself. Perhaps that is so because I've always been a champion for gay rights, but even otherwise, I personally feel it's very insulting to the gay folk.

I think Joe's candid comment here sort of explains why.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Mon 6 Dec, 2010 11:31 am
@iamsam82,
iamsam82 wrote:
In my view it's fine.


It's sloppy and lazy. There are so many words that already are synonyms for stupid/lacklustre/poor.

If you're interested in language, and want to share that interest with your students, you could consider taking the opportunity to teach them other words that say precisely what they want to say. A larger, more precise vocabulary is often helpful when people get into the workforce.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Mon 6 Dec, 2010 11:33 am
@iamsam82,
iamsam82 wrote:
I just wonder if I'm meant to stop every kid I hear using it a day and tell them not to in case a homosexual should hear it.


You're meant to be a teacher. That means teaching, not letting people be sloppy in their use of language. That has to do with what all people hear them say.
Ionus
 
  2  
Reply Tue 7 Dec, 2010 05:32 am
If you steal the meaning of words you cant object to one of your words being stolen.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Wed 8 Dec, 2010 07:32 am
@ehBeth,
Quote:

You're meant to be a teacher. That means teaching, not letting people be sloppy in their use of language. That has to do with what all people hear them say.


I disagree with your concept of what teachers do.

The term you used, i.e. "not letting people" do something, is what a dictator does, not what a teacher does. Prohibitions limit people. Putting restrictions on people is not teaching.

Teaching is the exact opposite. When you teach, you are expanding the things that people can do. A good teacher frees people from restrictions.

Language is not a set of rules to be followed. Language is a set of tools that is owned by the person using them.

The issue at hand is whether certain uses of language offends people. Sometimes the intent is to offend (and sometimes offending people is appropriate). The term "sloppiness" is not a good way to describe this.

But teachers should teach their students how to communicate formally. Well educated students will have the ability to communicate well in formal situations, but they still have the ability and the right to communicate any way they choose. When students choose to speak informally, it is none of a teacher's business (unless it is interfering directly in the classroom).
0 Replies
 
Eorl
 
  2  
Reply Wed 8 Dec, 2010 07:35 am
Thinking about this further... something interesting has happened here. Well, here's my theory anyway.

Slang descriptors for homosexuality used to be negative words like "queer", because, rightly or wrongly, they were cast as wrongly different from the norm. So, quite deliberately, the word "gay" was adopted due to it's positive connotations. Ultimately, however, the homosexual behavior continued to be viewed negatively, s
but rather than returning to the negative words, the new positive word took on the negative taint instead.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Dec, 2010 01:09 pm
@Eorl,
Quote:
Ultimately, however, the homosexual behavior continued to be viewed negatively, s
but rather than returning to the negative words, the new positive word took on the negative taint instead.
Not quite...Homo's used to be described with negative words, then they appropriated the word "gay" because it was a positive word, and now they demand that no words be used at all to describe them because according to them they a just like everyone else so any word to makes them separate from the majority hetro's is offensive to them...to which I say "that is just too ******* bad, I control my language not you, not the state".

I think that the word "gay" is taking on a negative meaning due to a backlash against the bulldog homo political pressure groups, they who want what they want ans want it now not giving a **** what anybody else thinks. The new negative connotation to the word "gay" is well earned.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Dec, 2010 12:55 am
Whenever I see a flamboyantly effeminate gay character in a movie, TV show or comedy bit, I think of Minstrel Shows.

The character Jack in the old TV show Will and Grace is a perfect example of a stereotypical "flamer."

I don't know what gays think about characters like Jack, but I don't recall Will and Grace being roundly criticized for being offensive.

While these characters generally have postive qualities (a sense of humor being the main one) they still seem, to me, to be clownish and one dimensional.

There's probably one out there, but I can't think of any characters who just happens to be gay. If sexual orientation is a known attribute of a character, at some point its going to be featured in the series plotting or in an individual episode. Otherwise its no more of an important aspect of the character than the color of his eyes, or the size shoe he wears.

In the case of the flamboyantly effeminate gay character, a sterotypical trait or collection of traits (cattiness, promiscuity, dramatic etc) is usually the defining attribute.

I don't know that these attributes suggest "lamness," but they certainly don't match up with a teenager's perception of "cool." Not to try and force an explanation for the current use of "gay" among young people (and those who wish to identify with them), but if there are deliberate efforts to depict a group in a stereotypical and comic manner, it shouldn't be surprising that the labels employed by these groups are used in jargon.

Again, I don't know how gays, generally, react to characters like Jack but my sense is that it is not with anger or disapproval. Not saying that it should be either. Perhaps Jack's characteristics are simply common rather than stereotypical and gays enjoy seeing a roughly accurate portrayal of a common personality type with which they can easily relate.

I don't think though that "gay," as used by young people, is a reaction to any political correctness connected to homosexuals, nor do I think that these young people, when using the term to mean "lame," are intentionally associating a negative connotation with homosexuals. I seriously doubt they give it any thought at all.

In any case, as with most teenage jargon, it probably won't have a long life. Eventually, it will replaced with a different term that will mean the same thing as "gay" does now, but with only an obtuse connection to the more accepted definition.

0 Replies
 
IrrationalNumber
 
  2  
Reply Mon 13 Dec, 2010 05:42 pm
INPUT FROM AN ACTUAL GAY PERSON:

I am all for the use of 'gay' to mean stupid/lacklustre/whatever, because honestly? People who use it usually don't think homosexuals are horrible, deviant people. Personally, I don't use it. Why? I didn't grow up with it, and it never entered my personal vernacular. There are a lot of slang words I don't use, just because I never picked them up, and have been known to say 'expletive yeah!' when in company, because I enjoy sounding pretentious (also, silly).

"Well why did you say 'gay,' then?" The answer is not because 'gay is bad, therefore by postulation, homosexuality is bad'. The answer is 'because that's what the word menas, now.' Here's my question, mostly to the British, because this word is so mild as to be 'darn' in America: 'Bugger'. Leaving aside that it is apparently Very Harsh Profanity, should no one say it because it is homophobic? What about 'Sod'? That comes from sodomite - Sodom and Gomorrah, which are widely regarded as the ultimate 'God Hates Fags' biblical example (unless people who tell me homosexuality is a sin have been getting their bible very very wrong again, which is very possible).

Lame, dumb, moron, and idiot are all ableist. Some people consider 'stupid' offensive because it conflates worth with intelligence. I can never say 'spaz' because it is offensive and ableist in the UK, even though it's harmless where I live (in the midwestern US it means someone who's a little klutzy and goofy). "Queer" can't mean "weird" anymore (its original definition), and using it that way is homophobic. Calling a woman a whore or prostitute is cruel and shameful to women, but implying prostitution is bad is offensive to sex workers and should also be avoided. Calling someone a dick, a prick, or a bitch is sexist, and I shouldn't ever do it (because when insulting someone with profanity, it is important to avoid offending their sensibilities). "You bastard?" Implies that birth outside of wedlock is horrible, and is offensive to unwed single mothers.

See what I'm getting at? If a word personally offends you, by all means, confront someone about it - "Hey, I'm not comfortable with you saying 'that's so gay.' Could you please stop using it around me?" But a wholesale THIS IS ALWAYS OFFENSIVE NEVER USE IT stand on words? Language is evolving, and intent and attitude behind using a word mean a lot.

iamsam82
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Apr, 2011 01:51 pm
@IrrationalNumber,
Maybe we should just leave it. This thread is getting a bit g... ... oops.
0 Replies
 
 

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